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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Gotham “Pilot” S1 E1

We are a little superhero crazy right now.   Last year we had Arrow (in its second season) and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (first season.)    This year we have four more coming…The Flash, Constantine, iZombie, and now Gotham.  Is it too much?   I guess we’ll have to see.  Like anything, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.    We really didn’t need 3 different CSIs, 3 different NCISs, 2 Criminal Minds,10 different reality talent competitions, etc.   So will the comic/superhero genre be too much?    We’ll see.  In my opinion as long as they are good shows, it makes so difference to me.   And I would argue Gotham isn’t in the same realm as the other comic book shows.    Gotham is an origin story.  This is not a Batman story, in the present form as we know Batman.   In fact, Bruno Heller (the man behind The Mentalist and others) has already come out and said, we not see the Caped Crusader.   That makes me happy.  There are so many movies about Batman, I don’t need a TV show about him….unless it’s different.   Gotham is different.

As I said before, Gotham is an origin story.   What does that mean?   It means we get to see characters we are familiar with (and some we don’t) before we really knew them.   A prequel if you will.  But this isn’t the story of how Batman becomes Batman.  At least not directly.    This is the story of the man who helped define the future Bruce Wayne and the city that Batman fiercely protects.  In a way, Gotham is very much the central character of the show the way New York City was for Sex and the City.   But Gotham’s central protagonist is rookie Detective Jim Gordon (future Commissioner James Gordon) played by Ben Mackenzie who’s first real crime to solve is the murder of Tom and Martha Wayne, parents of Bruce Wayne (our future Batman.)  The Waynes are the wealthiest family in Gotham (so I’m not sure why they were walking down a dark alley at night but that’s another story.)   So when Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) are sent to the crime scene, Bullock wants no part of it.   Gordon goes over to talk to Bruce, who witnesses the crime, and connects with him instantly.  Scenes like this are why I love origin stories so much.   You know how this relationship eventually evolves and what their relationship is in the Batman world as we know it today.  But we’ve never seen how it all started.  We were told, but hearing it and seeing it are so different.   It’s a great look into the history of this friendship.   Gordon opens up to Bruce to let him know he knows what he’s going through because of the death of his father at a young age.   He promises him he’ll find out who did this and bring them to justice.   We are introduced to a plethora of characters throughout the pilot most of whom we already know…..Selina Kyle AKA Catwoman (Camren Bicondovra), Oswald Cobblepot AKA The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Edward Nygma AKA The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), Ivy Pepper AKA Poison Ivy (Clare Foley), Barbara Kean AKA Mrs Barbara Gordon (Erin Richards), and is it possible the stand up comedian at Mooney’s establishment is the man we will come to know as The Joker?   Maybe not.   But Mooney spent a little too much time (as did the camera) paying attention to the stand up.   If he was just background for her scene with Cobblepot, why bother giving him so much screen time?   Just something to think about.  While I love seeing all the people as their original selves vs. their pseudonyms did we really need to meet EVERYONE in the pilot.    Couldn’t we have saved some for later?   Just seemed as if the show runners were trying to pack 10 pounds of poop into a 5 pound bag.

With all the characters we met that we have some familiarity with, two of the most interesting to me was the one who I knew nothing about and who was brand new….Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith.)   Maybe it was the way Smith was playing her but I found her to be sinister, hard ass, a bit terrifying, and incredibly enjoyable.   Mooney is one of the big crime lords in Gotham and is fortunate enough to have some of the cops (like Gordon’s partner) in her pocket for protection.   But when Mooney thinks Gordon and Bullock didn’t fall in line with her way of doing business, she had them scheduled to be killed.   Not to mention, when she finds out the Cobblepot snitched on her, she comes down on him with a violent fury, just short of killing him.     Don’t pee in her Cheerios.  But someone even scarier with stronger, more powerful ties in Gotham saves their lives.    That man is Carmen Falcone, head of the Gotham City mob with a connection to Gordon’s father.   We learn that Falcone and Gordon’s father (the former DA of Gotham) were actually friends.   I wonder how much of that is actually true vs. Falcone’s interpretation of their arrangement.  But this scene (among others) is where we learn why Jim Gordon will have a rough go in Gotham and why the Caped Crusader is eventually needed.  Falcone has everyone in his payroll….cops, lawyers, politicians, you name it.   Falcone runs the city.  In his own twisted way, he loves the city and vows to protect it at all costs.   Protect it from whom?    I would say from naive, doe eyed cops who want to “clean up” the city from crime and corruption.   “You can’t have organized crime without law and order.  I love this city and I see it going to hell.   I won’t let it go without a fight” Falcone informs Gordon.  In Falcone’s mind, the cops are a necessary part of his business model.  However, he expects those cops to fall in line with HIS sense of order and justice.   Falcone being as smart as he is realizes that Gordon is a good man, like his dad.  He’s honorable, a straight shooter, and someone who will do the right thing.   So in order to keep him in line, he orders him (through Bullock) to kill Cobblepot.  It’s an incredible scene watching Gordon walk Cobblepot to the end of the pier while Cobblepot pleads for his life.   And just before Gordon pulls the trigger he tells him “don’t ever come back to Gotham.”  He shoots and dumps him in the water.  Now, Gordon doesn’t actually shoot him ( you can’t kill The Penguin in the pilot) but from Bullock’s vantage point, Gordon did what Falcone wanted.   In the end, Gordon goes to Wayne Manor to see Master Bruce (Alfred of course is with him) to let him know that the man arrested for his parents’ murder wasn’t the right man.   That person is still at large and Gordon intends to find him.   But the key is Bruce keeping quite about what he knows in order for him to do that.  Bruce agrees.   You can already begin to see a transformation in Bruce from the scared, crying child, to the methodical, vigilante he will become.

While a lot happened in this episode, the big thing that stood out to me was how well cast this show is.  Mackenie is perfectly cast as Gordon.   He has the rugged toughness you need to be a top cop in a tough town but he also has the righteous, superior aura that certainly divides the good guys from the bad and highlights the ones in the middle, like Bullock.   But how long can he hold onto these high ground morals while trying to clean up the city from the inside of a department wrought with corruption and fear?   Will it break him?   You have to think no because we know he does become the Commissioner.   But just because he rises through the ranks, doesn’t mean he hasn’t had to change who he is to some degree for the greater good.   So I’m looking forward to seeing that evolution over the course of the series.   Another standout from the show was Robin Lord Taylor as Cobblepot/The Penguin.  He was brilliant.   He was pathetic and creepy and sad and murderous.  You watched him transform from a weak, desperate to be accepted henchman for Fish Mooney to disgraced outcast with an ax to grind against all who wronged him.   When you have a show based on a hugely popular comic story and as well a massively successful movie collection over the course of many years, people can have preconceived notions of how characters should look, sound, and act.  I try very hard not to have those when I go into a show like this and for the most part it’s easy because everyone is so much younger in Gotham from when we come to know them in Batman.  But for characters like The Penguin, The Riddler, possibly The Joker who are old enough to still have early insights into the characters they will become, that we already know, I think it’s much harder for those actors vs. Selina Kyle who is really just a baby at this point.  Taylor pulls it off superbly.  Logue’s Bullock will be the one to watch for me in the sense that I’m not sure what to make of him.   He can easily come across as the prototypical disgruntled veteran cop who hates everyone and life in general.  I don’t think that’s the case here.   You see signs of him where he may have been very much like Gordon when he started out.  But because of certain situations and possibly life altering decisions he’s had to make, he’s become the shades of grey cop who has been sucked into the corruption way of life more so as a means of preservation rather than conscious choice.   It’s probably why Gordon angers and frustrates him because he sees himself in him.   Someone who once wanted the same things Gordon did but wasn’t strong enough to see it through.  He probably sees Gordon as some who has the stones to fight the good fight and I think that makes him proud yet thoroughly embittered at the same time.   Maybe none of that is true and I’m looking for a deeper meaning that isn’t there (wouldn’t be the first time.)

Having said all that, in the simplest of terms, Gotham is a cop procedural with a cast of characters we are well aware of.   I really don’t think of this as a superhero show the way I do Arrow or probably will when I watch The Flash.  This is a cop show…like Castle.  Except instead of a precinct and villains we don’t know, Gotham has a precinct and villains we mostly do know.  However, we don’t know them in these current forms.  We know what they become.  The fun part will be watching how they get there!

DVRs: 4

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2014 Fall Preview: FOX

RETURNING SHOWS:

Hell’s Kitchen (9/10)
New Girl (9/16)
The Mindy Project (9/16)
Sleepy Hollow (9/22)
Bones (9/25)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (9/28)
The Simpsons (9/28)
Bob’s Burgers (10/5)
Family Guy (9/28)
Master Chef Junior (11/7)

NEW SHOWS:
Utopia (9/7)
Red Band Society (9/17)
Gotham (9/22)
Gracepoint (10/2)
Mulaney (10/5)

SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Sleepy Hollow
Gotham

SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:
New Girl (after a strong first season, the second season was bad)

SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:
Glee
The Mindy Project
All the Animated Shows
Hell’s Kitchen
Utopia

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Glee’s Final Season:  This is it.   The dreck that has been Glee the last few seasons is finally coming to an end.    And it’s been a long time coming.   These characters have been destroyed (Rachel leaves what was ALWAYS her dream of being on Broadway and playing Fanny Brice to be on a shitty TV show) the stories are worse than ever, and I just don’t care what happens to them anymore.   FOX also realized no cares anymore and lowered the original 22 episode commitment down to 13.   I won’t be checking it out but I’m sure some people will.
Sleepy Hollow Sophomore Season: It’s been 8 months since Sleepy Hollow was last on air.   And that can be dangerous with a show with so much mythology behind it.   But I can’t wait for this to return!!!  Abbie is now in purgatory.   Jenny was in a car crash.  Ichabod was buried alive by the Sineater (who turned out to be his son.)   And Katrina is now running around Sleepy Hollow with no one who knows her.  And Sineater/Jeremy is working with the Headless Horseman (who is also one of the 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse) to open the gates of hell to release all the Horseman.   Nice!!!  I just hope we get more than 13 episodes this year and Sleepy Hollow is every bit as strong in its sophomore year as it was its freshman year!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Moving to Sundays: This is how FOX treats it’s best new comedy of last year?   Which also happened to win the Golden Globe for Best Comedy by the way.   You move it to animated comedy Sunday?    With so much already on Sunday, I’m really disappointed to see this show move.   I hope it doesn’t hurt a show that was not a ratings juggernaut.   It picked up steam at the end of the season with the GG win and word of mouth.   But how will it fare if people have to DVR it for football or other big Sunday night shows.

EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:
As if I don’t have enough superhero shows to watch on TV these days, but I am excited to check out Gotham.   Gotham is a different twist on the superhero genre focusing on a name we all know very well (that is those of us that follow DC Comics)…Commissioner Gordon.  We know Gordon from the Batman comics.   But before Batman was Batman as we know him, Gordon and Gotham City had their own stories to tell…full of villains and vigilantes.   This show is the compilation of those stories.   It is an origin story.   It stars Ben Mackenzie as Detective James Gordon.   Gordon is called to the scene of a crime involving the murder of one of the wealthiest families in Gotham City…the Waynes.   Thomas and Martha Wayne are murdered and the only survivor is their son…Bruce (who eventually becomes Batman.)  Gordon and Bruce connect instantly (a kinship that will continue for years to come) and Gordon promises to track down the killers.   As the series evolves we’ll meet all the people we come to know in their adult lives…Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Edward Nygma (The Riddler), and Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin.)   Between Arrow, Agents of SHIELD, and other newcomer shows The Flash and Constantine, I don’t know how much comic book TV I can stomach.  I watch the Marvel movies so SHIELD isn’t going anywhere.    And I love Arrow (and Stephen Amell.)   But can I add The Flash, Constantine, AND Gotham all to my viewing landscape?   I will and we’ll see if they all stick.

Gracepoint is another show I will be checking out.  It reminds me a little of Twin Peaks and a better version of The Killing.   I’m a big fan of these 10 episode shows that have a brief period of time to tell their story.  It leaves little room for fluff and gets right into the meat of the show.   But since I’m a big character person, it’s hard for these shows to really get us in tune with the characters with such little time to get to all the show runners need to get to.  True Detective did a masterful job of it last year.    So can Gracepoint do the same?   For other people, it might not matter.   This is a murder mystery event.   It might not matter to some about characters.    It does to me though.    But with powerhouses Anna Gunn and David Tennant leading the way, I feel confident this show will be short but mighty.

As for Utopia, Red Band Society and Mulaney, these show may be the result of nothing more than I have no time to watch and their premises haven’t warranted me finding time to watch them.     First of all, Utopia is a reality show about people leaving their lives behind and moving to a remote location to create a whole new civilization.   Yeah, no.  Don’t care, won’t be watching.    Red Band Society stars Octavia Spencer and Dave Annable as part of the medical staff at Ocean Park Hospital.    It focus on a young group of “rule benders” (great more of those) who would never in a million years become friends except for the fact that they are all patients at this hospital.   The show explores relationships between the patients and the staff with both humor and drama.    It appears to have a ton of warmth and heart (with a touch of over the top lessons to be learned.)   Although I have to ask, was Diana Agron too busy to play another blonde, bitchy cheerleader?   Seems all teen shows have those these days and she’s played quite a few of them.    I love the cast (you had me a Octavia Spencer) but I just don’t know if I have time for this show.   It might be one I catch up on in the summer if it hangs around and gets renewed…which I doubt.  The ratings were really bad out of the gate (with no competition) so that doesn’t bode well for the show.   And I love Dave Annable but he is a jinx when it comes to new shows where he is the headliner.   Finally we have Mulaney, which is a Seinfeld rip off.   I’m serious.  Even the shows star and creator, John Mulaney, joked that it is.   “I just watched Seinfeld and I copied it.”    Wow.  That takes balls.   Even if you are just kidding, you are basically setting yourself up for failure if the show is even average because people will automatically compare the two shows.   Early reviews are really bad for the show.   I keep reading the same thing….John Mulaney is a talented writer and great stand up comic.   His show, is bad.  No laughs at all.  Not a glowing endorsement for a new comedy.

 

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BREAKING NEWS: FOX Renews Several Shows

From TV Line, looks like FOX is getting in the renewal mood a little early this year.    Three comedies were just renewed and one drama:

  • New Girl
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • The Mindy Project
  • The Following

I’m always happy for renewed shows because people are keeping their jobs.  I’m even more excited when it means my favorites are coming!!!

The one that has me the most excited on this list is Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  I have loved this show from the minute it aired.  Funny, well written, perfectly cast…this show was tight right out of the gate…which is a challenge for new ensemble comedies.  I was worried because the ratings weren’t good and it was looking bad for cancellation.  Then the Hollywood Foreign Press did me a solid and gave B99 the Golden Globe for Best Comedy.   And they were right on.   Since then, people have checked out the show and if you haven’t, what is wrong with you?  Do you not like sharp, witty TV shows?   Well, I’ll give you a second chance and HIGHLY encourage you to check it out over the summer so you can be ready for the fall.

Of course New Girl and The Following make me happy since those are on my must view list.  I don’t watch The Mindy Project and this renewal surprises me a lot because the ratings are bad and people who I have talked to who have seen the show say it’s pretty bad.  I watched the pilot and 2nd episode and it didn’t do anything for me so it was bumped.   But for those that do, congrats that your crappy show is still on the air!  I say crappy with all due respect of course.

So great news right??   Are you happy about these shows?   Surprised?   Pissed Enlisted isn’t on here?  Worried for Almost Human?    May is a long way away for bubble shows.

 
 

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POST SUPER BOWL REVIEWS: New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I really enjoy both of these shows.  I’m still beaming over the fact that B99 won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy!    These post Super Bowl shows are always so hyped up although this year, other than New Girl (which was truly the post SB spot) showcasing that Prince was going to be on, it wasn’t as pumped up as in year’s past.   Maybe the people at FOX knew how bad the game was going to be.   But it appears both had pretty decent ratings and while I really enjoyed New Girl, I was a little disappointed in B99.   Not because it was a bad episode (it wasn’t) but I was hoping for something bigger.

New Girl has been having an up and down season in my opinion.   I’m still torn on whether or not I like having Coach back.  I always felt like the show wasn’t quite sure what to do with Winston but that they were just starting to develop his character a little bit more.  Then Coach came back (since Happy Endings was canceled).   Now I feel like it’s worse.  They don’t seem to know what to do with Coach and Winston.  The funny thing is, Lamorne Morris (Winston) was originally in the running to play Coach and I believe would have been cast had it not been for other commitments and the fact that Damon Waynes Jr. raised his hand for the pilot believing his show “Happy Endings” would be canceled.   So the show runners went with Waynes.  But Morris’ other project fell through and “Happy Endings” was surprisingly renewed so Waynes went back to HE and Morris was brought back as a new character.  Then HE was finally canceled and New Girl brought Coach back.   Now, I think, we have a problem.  It’s as if the show wants to respect the fact that Morris/Winston has been with the show from the beginning and therefore doesn’t want to cut the character but they have their original man (Waynes) and character (Coach) back and don’t want to let that go either.  So what do they do?  Well, up until last night, neither has really done a whole lot of anything.   That’s why seeing them work together to try to get into the Prince party (and it worked) and also trying to score with some Vicky Secret models was hilarious.  I WANT MORE OF THIS!!!   I want more Coach and Winston together.  I’ve always felt like Nick and Schmidt were friends and Winston was there as their punching bag.  Kind of how I felt watching Friends, where Rachel and Monica were friends and Phoebe was just there to be strange.  To me, Jess and Winston were better friends than he was with any of the other guys.  And we haven’t had a chance to see Winston and Coach really do stuff just the two of them until last night….and I loved it!!  I certainly don’t want the show to segment Nick and Schmidt as friends and Winston and Coach as friends.  I want all four of them interacting together and mixing it up.   But I have to say, I thought Morris and Waynes worked so well off of one another, I would like to see that friendship explored more.

As for the other parts of this episode….Loved It!!  Nick tells Jess for the first time that he loves her…and not in a planned way…in a very matter of fact way.   Like when you tell someone who’s about to go out driving in the snow to be careful and safe.  And Jess’ reaction, double finger gun action!!!  Priceless.   The reaction of the guys, with them wanting to die for Nick at her lack of “I love you too” and Jess freaking out in the car with CeCe over realizing she gave Nick a finger gun response at the first time he tells her he loves her was so incredible I couldn’t stop laughing and wanting to run through my TV and hug Nick.   So what do they do?   The men put on their best suits (Schmidt’s suit was, of course, $2,000 while Winston’s came with free socks clipped to the lapel) and go to the party at Prince’s house so Nick can’t recant his I Love You.

When they all meet up (including Schmidt who had to sneak in and declared how bad Prince must be at Frisbee because there were 10 in the bushes) Jess and Nick ask for some alone time so they discuss I-Love-You-Gate.  But their alone time was soon disrupted by, you guessed it, Prince.  Prince allows them ample time to react which proceeds with Jess freaking out and Nick screaming like an 8-year-old girl and then fainting.  Once awake, Prince asks for time with Jess and he takes her on an adventure that includes trying on clothes, playing ping-pong, admiring Prince’s pet butterfly, and learning to say “love” in a candlelit room.  It.  Was.  Awesome.   Eventually, Nick and Jess reconnect and screams to the whole room how she loves him and then they join Prince up on stage to sing one of his songs.   Such a great episode from top to bottom!   Which is why B99 disappointed me.

B99 has been one of my new favorite comedies (The Goldbergs is up there as well.)  I love the cast and the writing.    But this episode felt like just another episode that would air on a regular Tuesday night.   Nothing really felt special about it.  And maybe that was the point.    The show is so good, it doesn’t need a gimmick.  But for a show that’s been struggling to get ratings and viewers, this was a time you were going to get 10-15 million people to watch your show (14.8 million to be specific) where you normally average about 4-5 million.   I was hoping for a “wow” episode so that everyone would finally see the brilliance of this show.  And maybe that’s what is so unfair.   The episode itself was great.  But I feel part of what makes it great is because I have context from earlier episodes.  I know why Jake doesn’t want Amy to go to the Vultures of Major Crimes.   Because in the last new episode, we learned that Jake is starting to fall for Amy.  And yes, a new viewer can easily pick that up, but it doesn’t pack the same punch.   I know why Jake hates Dennis from 30 Rock.  And I know why the Captain is so set on making the office more efficient.  But without his back story, the plot could come across as really silly and forced.   As a regular follower of the show, I loved the episode.  But I’m thinking of those extra 10 million viewers the show got.  Did it grab new viewers with last night’s episode?    I think “The Bet” would have been a better post Super Bowl episode because it would have given you enough history and background on the characters to understand what was going on, it would have paid off a season long running bet between Amy and Jake (which would have been perfectly explained to new viewers), and it really would have showcased this crackpot group of characters and how well they work off of one another, so much better to a NEW audience.   Remember, I’m thinking about this in the scope of “how can we get more people to watch this show and will this post SB episode do the trick.”     I just think “The Bet” would have worked so much better than last night’s episode for a new set of viewers.

But even though I was hoping for a better post SB episode, I still love it.   Seeing Jake trying to get the confession out of the perp before the vulture takes over and enlisting all of the 99 to help stop the vulture was great.   The Serg and the Captain plotting to make sure the office is more efficient by putting Rosa near the bathroom to discourage bathroom breaks, giving Gina a mirror to preoccupy herself, and eliminating the Lost and Found box so Boyle wouldn’t steal anymore hideous clothes (although not before he steals the jacket worn by Cindy Mancini in “Can’t Buy Me Love.”)   Of course, the episode wasn’t complete without the cameos from Adam Sandler and Joe Theissman playing themselves at an antiquities auction where Jake proceeds to break Theissman’s other leg with gross sound effects (though mercifully not showing the break) and ripping Sandler for putting Kevin James in yet another one of his movies.     All in all it was another great B99 episode.   Just wish it had a little more oomph for the SB.

What were your thoughts on New Girl and B99.   Did they live up to the post SB hype?

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in FOX, Recaps and Reviews

 

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Pilot” S1 E1

Even better than the 3 minute previews I kept watching over and over again.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine (BNN) was fresh, funny, engaging, and touching.   Yes you read that right, touching.  I’ve heard many comparison to this show and old classic, Barney Miller.  I was too young to watch Barney Miller so I can’t comment but I do know how highly regarded Barney Miller was so for BNN to get that type of analogy is a HUGE compliment.  I just laughed the whole time and throughly enjoyed each and every character.

BNN follows Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and his fellow team of detectives as they figure out just how their new CO, Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher) will lead their precinct.  See their last Captain let them have fire extinguisher races, so JP is hoping Holt will be just as deferential.   Yeah, not so much.  In a hilarious meet cute, JP is doing his best robot impersonation of the CO while Holt is standing right behind him.   You think Holt is just going to rip into him.  Instead, he tells him that he does a terrible robot impersonation and that he’d like to see him wear a tie.  This back and forth, power play between the two men continue throughout the episode with Holt telling JP he’s been doing too much manscaping and being relished to the records room by not following orders, to JP telling him he’ll dress more appropriately while he’s wearing the tie but no pants and speedo.

The best part of the Holt/JP relationship is that this isn’t the typical smart ass cop getting one over on his boss.  Holt is smart, driven, and very in tune with his crew even though he’s only been there for a few days.  So just when JP thinks he’s gotten one over on his new Captain, Holt turns the tables on him and gets the upper hand.  I love that!   And I think it helps that Samberg and Braugher have fabulous chemistry.  They play off of each other very well with Samberg’s razor-sharp wit and silliness and Braugher’s monotone and stone face delivery.   What makes this work is that Samberg is playing JP as a guy who likes to have fun yet takes his job very seriously.  And while most people want to hate the guy who’s the best and who is also a jokester, push the envelope type of guy, Samberg has such charm and a good balance between the silliness and seriousness that you can’t help but love him and wish you worked with him.   And Braugher, with his deep, commanding voice and huge presence on-screen, is able to play off that because he takes his job just as serious but also has a sense of humor that can have his people relax around him, but also know, they need to follow his command.

The touching moment came at the end of the episode when they are on a stake out and we learn that Holt captured the notorious disco killer in the 70s (loved the hair and suit on Braugher by the way) and JP wants to know why it took him so long to have his own command.   Holt tells him it’s because he’s gay and that the NYPD, at that time, wasn’t ready for a gay commanding officer but when they were, they used him as a publicity stunt and put him in roles that would promote the NYPD as a gay friendly organization.  Now that he finally has his own command, he doesn’t want to blow it.  JP, apologizes to Holt and tells him he feels like a jackass.   This is the type of scene that let’s me know what a great show this will be.   I love comedies when they have heart.  They can take a step back from the humor and give us a real moment with these characters that draw us in and then can find a way to seamlessly and subtly bring the humor back to return us to the comedic element of the show without being disrespectful to “the moment.”  And that’s what happened here.  Holt beared his soul and we got some good insight into why he is the way he is and JP was honestly upset for how he’d been behaving.   Samberg played this scene so well because it could have come off as insincere when after his apology he immediately sees the killer they are targeting and he announces how awesome he is.  But it didn’t.  JP was very genuine in his remorsefulness but Samberg found a way to make that stick when he was very careful about the tone he used in bragging about how he spotted the killer…it even made Holt laugh.

As far as the supporting cast, I was interested in each one of them and can’t wait to find out more.   You have tough as nails Det. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) who is as scary as they say and absolutely perfect in her delivery.  Det. Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) who has a crush on Diaz and is as clumsy and awkward as they come, but a hard worker and sweet man.  I’m sorry but that muffin scene has me howling every time I watch it. Sgt Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) is a former field detective turned sergeant because once he had his twin girls, Cagney and Lacey (LOL!), he was fearful of losing his life…cue the scene where he shoots up a mannequin at a department store because of his sheet panic…priceless.  Gina Linetta (Chelsea Peretti) is the office manager and a civilian who is the eyes and ears of the office who has yet to learn she has a filter.  And finally Det. Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) who is partners with Peralta and has a contest with him to see who will have more arrests.  She’s very driven and just wants to prove she’s one of the boys and tough as they come.  I love this girl already and let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time before she and JP are together romantically.

It’s a fabulous cast, a great show, and I can’t wait for next Tuesday already.   If you haven’t checked this show out, this is a must watch!

DVR RATING: 5

 

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Sleepy Hollow “Pilot” S1 E1

This was one of the shows I couldn’t wait to premiere.   I have always love Washington Irving’s story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I loved the movie with Johnny Depp (my husband and I watch it every Halloween.)  So when I found out it was going to be a TV show, I was thrilled yet skeptical at the same time.   How are they going to pull this off for a TV series?   It’s a pretty simple short story so how do you stretch it out over 22 episodes a season for potentially 5-6 seasons?   You put a spin on the original story…that’s how!  Are they going to be able to pull it off?   Time will tell but for now, I’m in 100%.

We start off in the 1700s during the Revolutionary War where a British Ichabod Crane (played by Tom Mison) is fighting for General Washington and the Americans against the British.  Huh?  We learn he defected to our side and became a spy for Washington.  Anywho, here comes the Hessian with his broad axe and super creepy mask to fight Crane.  They duke it out colonial style and the Hessian gashes Crane across the chest while Crane chops his head off.  He is rushed to the infirmary where his wife Katrina is there trying to nurse him back to health.  He blacks out.  Next thing we see, he waking up in a cave 250 years later.   He’s walking around surprisingly well for a man who was frozen in a cave for 250 years.   But he does almost get run over by a tractor-trailer because he’s admiring this amazing material he’s noticed on the ground….asphalt.   Suddenly, Crane realizes he isn’t in Kansas anymore and runs to town.

Meanwhile, we meet Abbie Mills (played by Nicole Beharie) who is having dinner with her partner talking about how she’s heading off to Quantico.  Let’s pause for a minute.   I’m not sure why shows do this.  We learn that Abbie has been accepted to the FBI and there are only a handful of these positions available and she’s received one of them.  It’s obvious this is something she wants and is a huge deal.  But you know what’s going to happen already…she’ll meet Crane, she’ll get wrapped up in this case and she’ll blow off Quantico.  Now, I’m not an expert in the area of law enforcement but I do know that if I received an offer to go to the FBI, our nation’s top law enforcement agency, meanwhile a revolutionary war solider and a murderer with no head is running around my town, I’m out of there as fast as you can say Quantico.  I’m not sure why this needs to be interjected in because in my opinion, it knocks her decision-making prowess down a few notches in my eyes.  Just let her be the detective in Sleepy Hollow when this all goes down.  Sheesh.  Ok, back to the story.   She and her partner get a call about wild horses at a property not to far away and they go check it out.  The wind picks up and the thunder and lightning start…..you know that’s never a good sign….and when they get there, the owner has been decapitated and the partner and Abbie meet the not so dead Hessian sans head.  Promptly the partner loses his and Abbie watches the Hessian ride off into the moonlight.   Why didn’t the Hessian go after Abbie?

Crane, who almost gets hit by a police car, get arrested for the murder because, I’m not really sure why.  Abbie comes into the station with her Capitan, Frank Irving (played by Orlando Jones) and when telling him the story of who she saw, Crane completes the description for her.  I thought one of the most well constructed parts of the show happens here when Crane asks if Abbie’s been emancipated and Abbie calmly tells him that yes she is a female detective to boot.  He’s thrilled because slavery always bothered him.   This was very well done because it nodded to the audience that they know we aren’t stupid and that logically, Crane being from the 1700s, would have a much different opinion on a black woman interacting with him.  So they address it with humor and dignity at the same time.  It was great.  Irving wants Crane in an asylum but Abbie thinks he can help her figure out what’s going on.  So she goes against her Captain’s orders and takes Crane to his “cave dwelling” to get some more answers.  While taking him there, he passes a priest whom he recognizes from his time in the infirmary.  Strange.  Is everyone in this town over 200 years old and looking fabulous?   Unfortunately, Crane never gets to chat up the padre because the Hessian has found him and lopped off his head while the priest tells him “I’ll never tell you where it is.”  Where what is?   I realize how dumb this question in later on.

As the rest of the episode unfolds, we learn Abbie has a sister and when they were young, were in the woods when they came across four strange white trees.  They also claim to have seen some sort of object around the trees.   They weren’t sure if it was a person or an animal of some sort, but when no one believed them, Abbie’s sister went insane.  We learn Ichabod’s background when he’s strapped to a polygraph (another great scene.)  We also meet Katrina.   Now I’m not sure where Katrina is.  She’s in some land where she’s trapped and she’d really like to get out but only Ichabod can help her.   She tells him that the Hessian is actually one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (yes you read that right and no this didn’t turn into a Supernatural review) and that if he finds his head (which is buried in her grave) it will awaken the other Horseman and bring them to their land which would cause a cataclysmic problem.  She tells him that the Hessian was buried under water and Crane was buried to protect himself because on the battlefield, their blood mixed and now Crane and Hessian are forever linked…which is why they arose at the same time.   Utterly confused and scared, Crane urges for more information but Katrina forces him to wake up and he and Abbie start working together to figure out what the hell is going on.   Abbie goes to her partner’s office and learns that he has been investigating these strange phenomenons for quite some time.  He even knew the story of her and her sister.  When she tells Crane what she found, she realizes she needs to complete the work of her partner and help Crane in stopping this Apocalypse from happening.   Um, this would be a great time for her to call the Winchester Boys for help…just a suggestion.

Wow, so a lot happened in that episode.  As pilots go, I thought it was VERY well done.  I like the idea of putting a twist on story we’ve all come to know.  Actually, the writers didn’t have a choice if they want this to last a few seasons.  I think the chemistry between Mison and Beharie is fantastic and they play off each other very well.  Especially their timing comedically.  Their banter is very natural and when you’re taking a heavy topic and putting a comedic spin on it, you need actors who call pull it off and they do.  I’ve always loved Orlando Jones (although he’ll always be Clifford Franklin from the Replacements for me.)  But I wonder if he knows more than he lets on.  Maybe it’s unfair because Captain Renard from Grimm was part of the scheme that now I think every police Captain is in on it, but when Abbie was leaving her partner’s office, Irving had a look on his face that said “boy I hope she didn’t find the secret stash of information I know about in here.”   Because it’s clear there are some town folk who know what’s going on.  John Cho’s unfortunately short-lived performance cleared that up.   Usually if a headless solider from the Revolutionary War shows up in your apartment, chances are you’re slightly freaked out and running for your life.  But Cho’s character simply told him “I know where it is.”  The “it” Cho was referring to was of course the horseman’s head.   So it’s clear there are some people around town who know what’s going on and many who don’t.  I’m sure over the course of the season and series, we’ll be introduced to many towns people who may or may not know or who may have a connection or rooting interest in seeing these Four Horsemen come to life.  And I think the big question for me right now is what does Abbie have to do with all of this?  She and her sister saw the trees and the creature all those years ago, she’s the only one willing to give Crane the benefit of the doubt, she saw said creature again at the end of the episode (which nearly made me jump out of my skin), and the Hessian didn’t kill her when he had the chance.  Why?  I can’t wait to find out!!!   Finally, how is it that some people have made the journey 250 years and look exactly the same?   How did that happen?   Are there more people from that era walking around we haven’t seen yet?   And where the hell is Katrina?   So many questions.

One day into the new season and already I’m bursting with excitement for the new TV season.  This was great start.  I didn’t get to see Bones yet but I heard the premiere was pretty strong.    And I have a good feeling this one might stick around because the critics were mostly positive on this show going into the premiere and I hope the ratings were solid.  They should be because there is no competition right now so it was smart of FOX to start the week early.  But what did you think of Sleepy Hollow and are you as hooked as I am?

DVR RATING: 5

 

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2013 Fall TV Preview: FOX

RETURNING SHOWS:

  • The X Factor (9/11)
  • Bones (9/16)
  • New Girl (9/17)
  • The Mindy Project (9/17)
  • Glee (9/26)
  • The Simpsons (9/29)
  • Bob’s Burgers (9/29)
  • Family Guy (9/29)
  • American Dad (9/29)
  • Raising Hope (11/8)

NEW SHOWS:

  • Sleepy Hollow (9/16)
  • Dads (9/17)
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (9/17)
  • Junior Master Chef (9/26)
  • Almost Human (11/4)
  • Enlisted (1/10)

SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • New Girl
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Enlisted
  • Almost Human

SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:

  • Bones (wow does that pucker my butt to put that here)

SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:

  • The X Factor
  • Glee (except for one episode)
  • The Mindy Project
  • All the Animated Shows
  • Dads
  • Junior Master Chef

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • Glee’s Cory Monteith Tribute Episode: you know how hard I’ve been on Glee.  The show is awful.   The fact that it was renewed for another TWO seasons is preposterous but as long as 13-year-old girls are watching, I guess it will be on the air.  Having said that, I enjoyed this show in the early seasons and Cory Monteith was a huge part of that.  His passing was tragic and has really hit the cast hard…especially Lea Michele.  So I will tune into see how Ryan Murphy and crew handle the episode.  I’m not too optimistic because Glee handling serious episodes well is like saying Tim Tebow will someday be a great NFL quarterback.   But I hope I’m wrong and I hope it’s the best episode they’ve ever done.
  • Bones to Friday Nights: Bones has bounced around the schedule a ton over the last few seasons.  As a fan of the show it’s been frustrating.   But moving to Friday is never a good sign.  I have been a die-hard fan of Bones since I saw the pilot.  I love this show and the cast.  But even I am starting to get tired of Bones.  The Pelant storyline is compelling but Bones is starting to turn into one of those shows where 7 episodes pile up on my DVR and after I watched everything else, I get to Bones.   That’s not good.  So I will be tuning in but I’m not sure after this year if I’ll stick with it.  I really hate to say that but it’s sadly true.  😦   But to see Bones move to Friday makes me wonder if TPTB at FOX are also growing slightly tired of Bones.  We’ll see how it fares.
  • The Mindy Project Sophomore Season: This show had a lot of buzz last year but I have found either people love or hate this show.  I’m indifferent because I only watched the pilot and didn’t enjoy it so I never got to watch another episode because shows were piling up and it had to go.  Fans are die-hard but I’ve heard other people say that Mindy is a great writer but annoying as hell on this show.  There weren’t a whole lot of successful new shows last year so Mindy might have been the best of the dreck.  But I think there are some stronger shows coming this year and Mindy is in a tough spot on a tough night…NCIS: LA, The Voice, Supernatural (new night), and Trophy Wife (hotly buzzed about new show.)   Let’s see what happens.

EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:

  • Lots of new shows here on FOX.  And what a spectrum of shows…some could be the best of season and some are so dreadful I’m not sure how they were picked up.   But let’s start with the positives.  I will be absolutely watching Sleepy Hollow and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.   Talk about two completely different shows.   Before all the buzz surrounded both of these shows, I was already in big.   I love the story of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman.  Now from what I understand, they are changing it up from the original story.  We have Ichabod Crane, the Headless Horseman, Katrina, and so on.  However, it’s set in a world where the legend and story never existed and the Horseman has something to do with the Four Horseman of the Apocolypse…don’t ask me what.  And I don’t care.  I’m so in with this story and I’m going to call it now…Tom Mison is the breakout drama star of the season.   I saw a preview of Brooklyn Nine-Nine months ago and I’ve probably watched it 3 more times since…it still makes me laugh.   It stars Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher (whom I love) with a strong surrounding cast as a crack pot team of cops who acquire a more serious lieutenant who wants to shake things up and make this team of detectives the best in Brooklyn.   Good luck Andre!   FOX has the chance of having the best drama and comedy of the new season.   Hollow has more competition with Hostages, The Blacklist, Masters of Sex, and SHIELD, but there has been a lot of media love on how unique this show is and how great the cast is.   So we’ll see.
  • So while FOX may have the two best shows of the season, they also have one of the worst…Dads.  Oh boy.  This isn’t Super Fun Night bad but it’s really, really close.  I feel bad for Seth Green because he deserves better than this show.  It’s awful.  I know people are screaming about the racist and over-the-top “humor” on the show but that didn’t bother me as much.  Don’t get wrong, I don’t think racist humor is funny, I just didn’t find it as offensive as other people.  What was more bothersome was that it just wasn’t funny and wasn’t well written at all.  You know when you’re watching something and you can tell the writers and possibly the actors think their material is the funniest bit ever and therefore have a tendency to overact and over sell it?   Yep, that’s what happens in every scene I’ve seen.  So I won’t even watch Dads because I don’t think it will be around   long enough to check it out.  As I side note, I also don’t care about Junior Master Chef.
  • The rest include Enlisted and Almost Human.   I’m pretty bummed because Enlisted was supposed to premiere Nov 8th but FOX decided to move it to mid-season (Jan 10th premiere) because they wanted to use football season, which skews heavily male (shocking I know), to really promote the show.  I will be tuning in because anyone connected with Scrubs and Cougar Town knows how to write and cast funny ensemble shows.   So I have no doubt this will be another winner.   I didn’t know a lot about Almost Human and haven’t heard too much about it so I watched a trailer and I think the premise is interesting and different enough that I will certainly check it out.  Me staying with the show remains to be seen, but I love Michael Ealy and Lili Taylor so they have earned me watching my standard 3 episodes.
 
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Posted by on September 16, 2013 in Fall Preview, FOX

 

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